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Benedict Cumberbatch Expects ‘Doctor Strange 2’ to Challenge ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Box Office Record

The "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" star also revealed that the Sami Raimi film is still doing reshoots ahead of its May 6 release date.

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, from left: Tom Holland as Peter Parker, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, 2021. photo: Matt Kennedy / © Sony Pictures Releasing / © Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Spider-Man: No Way Home”

©Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Benedict Cumberbatch is Oscar-nominated this year, but already he’s looking ahead to his next film’s release: “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” in theaters May 6.

The “Power of the Dog” star gushed to Empire magazine that the “Doctor Strange” sequel is a “big, big movie,” one that could rival the box office record–breaking “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in terms of scale.

“It’s going to be an absolute riot. And if it brings off the level of ambition it’s got, we’re going to have a success on the level of Spidey. There you go, I’ll put my flag in the sand,” Cumberbatch said, despite initially even doubting the power of “No Way Home” to bring audiences back to theaters amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cumberbatch previously said that when Marvel president Kevin Feige used “No Way Home” as a needle-marker for the “future of cinema,” he thought, “OK, everyone’s drinking too much of the Kool-Aid around here.”

“No Way Home” went on to become the biggest film in Sony history and topped “Avatar” to become the third biggest movie ever at the domestic box office.

“My ignorance was showed up,” Cumberbatch, who starred in the film, added.

As for the plot of “Doctor Strange 2,” the actor noted that there is a “lot of reckoning and a lot of self-discovery.”

“Strange is almost a stranger to himself before this film unfolds and reveals what, essentially, is in his nature, that he then has to either confront or resist or fall into or become,” Cumberbatch said. “There are some very bold ideas, and some extraordinary tests of Strange and encounters. There are some very unexpected conclusions.”

And that conclusion may even be drawn out a little further: Cumberbatch also let it slip that “Doctor Strange 2” is still undergoing reshoots less than two months ahead of its theatrical release.

In an interview at the BAFTAs (via Twitter user SmilingBenedict), Cumberbatch said, “I’m having a very nice time [in Los Angeles] doing reshoots for ‘Doctor Strange.'”

Director Sam Raimi hinted in January that there was still some uncertainty as to when the film will be finished.

“I wish I knew the answer to that question,” Raimi told Variety about finalizing the film. “I think we’re done, but we just cut everything. We’re just starting to test the picture and we’ll find out if there’s anything that’s got to be picked up. If something’s unclear or another improvement I can make in this short amount of time left, I’ll do it.”

The sequel also underwent “significant reshoots” in November 2021.

Raimi, who directed Columbia Pictures’ original “Spider-Man” trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, added, “Marvel’s been a great team to work with. [They’re] super professional and have supported me every step of the way [but] one thing I know about the Marvel team is they won’t stop. They’ll keep pushing it until it’s as close to being great as it could.”

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